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Chef Nina Parker’s Blueberry Apple Muffins (Gluten-Free!)

I loved the idea of creating a sweet treat with a seriously low sugar content. These are made with a little stevia and medjool dates and I think it’s nice to use a little from each otherwise both can be a little overpowering in flavour. It took me six trials to get these muffins just right and I can’t stress enough how important the whipping of the butter is at the beginning to give a soft texture. If you follow my instructions carefully I promise you will be left with some delicate, delicious, fluffy snacks.

Here’s how to make 12 muffins

4 level tbsp stevia
120g unsalted butter, soft
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
240g gluten-free flour
2 level tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
100ml kefir milk
160g banana, lightly mashed (about 1 medium)
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 medjool dates, roughly chopped
80g grated apple
100g blueberries

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees fan and prepare a muffin tray with 12 muffin cases inside.

Add the stevia and butter into a bowl and use an electric handheld whisk to cream them together. This will take about 4 minutes and it should look light and fluffy. Mix the gluten-free flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon into a bowl and in a separate bowl add the kefir, mashed banana, vanilla and chopped dates and lightly stir together. Continue whisking the creamed butter and add a spoon of the dry mix followed a little of the beaten eggs. Keep on adding a little of each until all the egg is incorporated and then switch off the beater. At this point you want to avoid the batter getting too dry and there should be a little of the dry mix remaining. Spoon some of the kefir mix into the batter bowl and stir in with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining of the dry mix and gently stir in the rest of the kefir bowl until just combined. Sprinkle over the grated apple and blueberries and stir into the batter no more than twice. Do not over mix! Spoon a tablespoonful of the muffin batter into each case and then repeat so that they are all evenly filled. Place into the middle of the preheated oven for 35 minutes.

They should have formed a crisp skin and be lightly golden on top. A skewer inserted should come out fairly clean and turn out muffins to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool these will keep well in a sealed container for about 2-3 days.

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